Sunday, 31 May 2009

Go the Tiges!

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, May 31, 2009 with 1 comment
Some speedygeese ran with the ACTCCC Saturday afternoon, despite the ACTVAC monthly handicap being held on Sunday.
North Lyneham 3.1k
14. Heidi Johnston W35 14:25
26. Geoff Moore M60 17:50
27. Ewen Thompson M50 17:54
33. Geoff Barker M65 23:04
33 finishers
North Lyneham 6.2k
37. Michelle Wells W35 28:31
45. Thea Zimpel 29:42
46. Ewen Thompson M50 29:57
51. Geoff Moore M60 31:45 splits 17:10 & 14:35
61. Caroline Campbell W65 35:32
64. Susan Sturgeon 35:58
70 finishers
As you can see, some of us were pushing the pace and some of us were not.

West Stromlo
The "warm-up" didn't achieve a lot for those backing up on Sunday; the stars on Sunday at West Stromlo were Roger Pilkington winning the bronze medal in the long course, and Katie Forestier the bronze medal in the short course, where Ken White also ran well. The West Stromlo courses are quite tough with a long uphill section to negotiate; it's no coincidence that those doing best had not run on Saturday, and are regular participants in the hilly BBQ Stakes event on Wednesdays.

Next week the Cross Country Club conducts the challenging Pennington (12k) /Longstaff (8k) races out at Weston Park. Well worth a run!

Coming up
Monday 1 June
: speedygeese Parliament House training. 5:30pm. The plan is to run eight intervals each of a little under 400m on the grass below Parliament House, weather permitting. So please do come along and join in!

Wednesday 3 June: BBQ Stakes, Woden, 12:15pm

Thursday 4 June: speedygeese Dickson training. 5:30pm For the last two weeks we have been running 3 x 1k with handicap starts (groups each 15 seconds). This week the plan is to reduce this to 666m, still using handicap starts (groups each 10 seconds). This is a great session; the more the merrier.

Saturday 6 June: 1:00pm Longstaff/Pennington. ACTCCC events are excellent events; great value for money as it is very inexpensive to enter, and large fields.

Sunday 7 June: No running events but there is a big walking carnival on; I will probably run around Lake Burley Griffin and watch it coming the other way.

Also note that Monday 8 June is a public holiday but we will be training at 5:30pm at Parliament House as usual.

I am conducting a bit of a "recruitment drive" at present. Why? Because over the last few weeks we have had a lot of new people training with us so it is a good time for more new people to join in. If you haven't been along for a while, now is the time to resume; and if you have some friends you would like to invite along, please do so.

Anyone at all can join in with the speedygeese, any time.

Saturday morning I watched grandson Josiah's footy game at Jerrabomberra. After the game I had a kick with him on the oval and took some photos. Go the Tiges!

Saturday, 30 May 2009

make a habit of opening the "blogs I follow" links on the side-bar.

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, May 30, 2009 with No comments
You can find some very good reading in the "blogs I follow"..
Here is an excellent example copied from The Running Laminator this week:

In the last post, I discussed the value of tempo runs and interval workouts for marathon training. In this post, I’d like to discuss how I incorporate each of these speedwork components into my own training plan.

Although I like to credit myself for being a brilliant coach in devising the perfect marathon plan for me, the bulk of the work was really done by Pete Pfitzinger since most of what I’ve learned about marathon training is derived from his work. In general, I divide a sixteen week marathon training program into four four-week cycles. Although the framework of each cycle is constructed on the same four individual elements – speedwork, long runs, general aerobic runs, and recovery runs, I try to accentuate different aspects of training in the different cycles. For example, in the base building phase, I try to improve my endurance, which means longer general aerobic and long runs with shorter and less intense speedwork sessions. In the strength building phase, I will replace interval workouts with short hill repeats. At the same time, I keep my long runs at 16-18 miles and run my general aerobic runs over hilly terrain. In the race preparation phase, I run long hard tempo runs (12,14,16 miles) and longer but easier long runs (22, 24 miles). Here, the general aerobic runs are kept easy and slow, almost at a recovery effort to allow sufficient rest between all the tough, hard workouts. I like to schedule races to simulate marathon effort during this phase of training as well. Finally, the last cycle is spent mostly tapering, with one final long tempo run at marathon pace or close to it, and the longest long run of the training cycle in back-to-back weeks before the final drop in mileage leading to the goal marathon.

To specifically address the issue of speedwork during training, I usually schedule one workout a week devoted entirely to speed. Within each four week cycle then, the breakdown is 2 tempo runs, 1 interval run/hill repeats, and 1 race week (where the speed session is replaced by a road race). The distance of my tempo runs have ranged from 4 miles to 14 miles dependent on the cycle and how far along I am in my training. Although I schedule goal paces for each tempo run, I try to go through each tempo run to keep a fast but relaxed effort for as long as possible. I have found that this technique works better for the later tempo runs than for the earlier ones because I tend to freak out and start too fast in the first few sessions. It is only with training and experience that I come to be more confident in knowing that I can maintain a certain tempo pace for a longer distance that allows me to be calm and relaxed when I start. It is intriguing though how the cycle repeats itself no matter how many times I’ve gone through the peaks and valleys of training.

As for running intervals, which I on average will do once or twice per four week cycle, I usually try to do 800m or 1600m repeats at a fast and aggressive pace. Although I start out only being able to do 2 1600s or 4 800s, by the last cycle, I’m usually able to carry though 4 1600s and 8-10 800s. I like running 1600s because it approximates a mile effort and allows me to practice how I should run the last mile of a marathon. As I’m running, I imagine myself gliding effortlessly through the track like a well-oiled machine, matching my breathing to my turnover and stride. I have to concentrate hard to not race all out in these workouts while at the same time moving fast enough and avoiding the pitfalls of bad form like overstriding or leading too far forward or too far back as I run. It’s a sucky workout for sure, but I always find myself running with better form the next day.

So that’s my rundown of how I incorporate speed into my marathon training. If you want a more detailed description of how to optimize your training plan, check out this Pfitzinger post, or alternatively, if you are in the market for something a little less conventional, check out this article from the Running Times.

As for me, I’ve got some last minute training to be done for a half-marathon this weekend. It’ll be my last race for least a few weeks so I’m hoping to turn in a good performance. If I have time, I’ll try to fit in one more Q&A before I close this chapter. If not, the next time you hear from me will be a race report. Either way, you’ll hear from me again before too long.

Note: tempo runs are not races!

Friday, 29 May 2009

Crossing the Line

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, May 29, 2009 with 3 comments

I can never get over how runners stop on or before the line in all our races. At Lotus Bay, doing the timing, I noticed that every single runner pulled up at the finish line, some even before it to walk through. Even runners racing each other to the line, finishing together, would slow down together.

We were taught, and I try and teach, that we should run through the finish line every time without slowing down.

Finish strong!

At BBQ Stakes I almost always miss being handed a place card and have to go back for it. That is because everybody else stops on the finish line and the person handing out the cards gets away with standing just behind the line for all those finishers. But it's a fast downhill finish; it actually takes some effort to decelerate enough to stop and take a place card!

Don't just run to the finish line, run through the finish line!

Thursday training. Thirteen people ran on a pleasant Thursday evening, another session of kilometre intervals. Present were Amanda, two Bretts, Caroline, me, Janene, Margaret, Rod, Roger, Ruth, Susan, Thea & Yelena.

Beautiful autumn picture
 Kelley. Taken from her facebook page.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Half Marathon photos

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, May 28, 2009 with No comments
Speedygeese race results
ABS Fun Run, Thursday 21 May
31 Katie Forestier 30:33
38 Ken White 31:18
73 Amanda Walker 33:53
140 Neil Boden 38:00
165 Caroline Campbell 39:47

BBQ Stakes Wednesday 27 May
Roger ~25:57
Katie ~26:03
Me ~26:37
Ken ~27:17
Helen ~ 29:14

The weather lately has been brilliant for running; not too cold overnight, lovely and sunny in the middle of the day. Even the evenings have been good; a little humidity making it very pleasant for jogging around and for standing around afterwards. Tonight at Dickson it should be more of the same. We are running km intervals on the track tonight; giving the slower runners a good start; making the faster runners chase them. Come along if you are able; and make a point of meeting and befriending some of the newer runners in our training group. And if you haven't been for a while you haven't experienced the new overhead lights around the 400m track which turn everything bright as day.

Canberra Half Marathon photos (click to enlarge)
not long after the start

chasing down some good runners

sub 1:40

There are many more half marathon photos on the AACT website - 297 photos in all..

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Run For Your Life

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 with 2 comments
what I am viewing: 
I have finished watching Doctor Who Series 3, next will come the "Titanic" Christmas special which preceded Series 4. And of course the new Doctor Who, which resumes at 7:30pm this Sunday on ABC1. Not to mention "The Chaser's War on Everything", which resumes tonight.

what I am reading: 
I have finished Currant Events by Piers Anthony (it was a red currant), also Coraline by Neil Gaiman, a child's story, and the "graphic novel" version at that, which is why I was able to complete it in one sitting.

I am also reading the latest R4YL magazine. Excellent articles on Martin Fryer, Chris Wardlaw, Collis Birmingham, David Criniti, and much much more that I am yet to read, The surprise was the article on our own Jodie Davis. Photo by Bronwyn!

Click to enlarge. In the magazine I also see a positive letter to the editor, promoting Masters. To those who imagine we in Canberra had a decisive vote last week to retain the name "Veterans", the vote was 27-26 with 4 abstentions, from a club of over 500 (and falling). The only way we can promote ourselves as a movement with any credibility outside our club is to continue calling ourselves Masters, just as we (some of us) have in the last 12 months. Masters is the only game in town in the 21st Century. We have to move with the times or we die. Even if we remain the ACTVAC, and keep half our existing members contented, we are actually Masters athletes conducting Masters events, and we can still be known as such outside the club.

And if we aren't, some other body will fill that niche. There, I said it.

As for me, my  focus will not be on Masters or Veterans (or Aardvarks). All the debating and contention and hoo-haa is not what matters to me as a coach and athlete and training group member. The discussion over the last 12 months and at the AGM was "merely" a "what is best for our club" thing which has now passed, it's over. But instead, as already mentioned by you the reader in comments on this blog, the focus for us has been, is, and will be, on "ordinary runners."

Even reluctant ones.

This training group (the speedygeese) serves as an entry point for ordinary runners who can go on and join whatever clubs are organising running events in the ACT. If they so desire. Whatever these clubs call themselves. The more such entry points (social, fun, and culturally relevant groups) there are the better.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Sleep or Weep

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 with 3 comments
Song of the week: The Incredible String Band's "Queen of Love"
A strong power calls from the left hand
Across the waters deep
a strong power calls from the left hand
let all things sleep or weep...

The doctor brews potions and pills
to open his own front door
and the locksmith makes strong bolts
to bar his gates to every new breeze that blows

shall I now put lion's ears upon my ears
hear every sound as a roar
shall I now put mouse's eyes upon my eyes
gauge the moon for size against my paw...

Monday training was a popular return to 20 x 100m on 90 seconds, steep uphill, with Alan, Andrew, Bronwyn, Ewen, Helen, Jennifer, Kathy, Lee, Margaret, Maria, Mick C, Ruth, Tony, Yelena, Yili and even me participating. Steep for aged athletes and Rob Roy refugees, anyway.

Plans for this week include
Wednesday 12:15pm Barbecue Stakes
Thursday 5:30pm Dickson oval training. I will be setting off from Dickson at 4:30pm this week for a longer run if anyone wants to join me.
Saturday 1:00pm North Lyneham 6.2k
Sunday 9:00am Masters Handicap, West Stromlo
Also, Sunday High Noon Meet - 1500m

speedygeese at Lotus Bay 5k Saturday 23 May
39. Yili Zhu M45 24:46
41. Heidi Johnston W35 25:21
44. Geoff Sims M60 25:43
47. Thea Zimpel 26:11
58 finishers

Mt Rob Roy Sunday 24 May - Bronwyn 7th female, 65.29 to the summit, 2:01.01 total time.

Surgeres France World 48 hour championships:
Martin Fryer the winner, 433.686km in 48 Hours
Starting 12 midnight on Friday night (Australian time) and finishing midnight on Sunday night, Martin Fryer managed to record an astounding 433.686km (averaging 9.04km/h), smashing his previous best time. Martin won by just over 30km from Japanese athlete Ryoichi Sekiya (402.321km) and third went to Mami Kudo (385.130km). Fryer’s goal going into this race was to get over the magic 400km mark, and he did, smashing it. Further details can be found on the race website - live_2009. I found the forum on Coolrunning a great way of reviewing the hour-by-hour progress of the race. Highly recommended you have a look at the thread at

My challenge to you to come up with an aardvark acronym drew two responses - the usual two. Come on now, I get 60+ hits a day. Stop lurking!
The winner is "Awesome Athletes Run Down Veterans And Remain Kings!!" Thanks Ruth.

Transformation. We will rename where we are by what we do.

At Lotus Bay


 Half way

"If youngsters are taught that losing is a disgrace, and if they're not sure they can win, they will be reluctant to even try. And not trying is the real disgrace" - Ron Clarke

Monday, 25 May 2009

The Unforgiving Minute

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, May 25, 2009 with 1 comment
IF - Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Moving Beyond "Who Am I?"

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, May 24, 2009 with 3 comments
Questions of identity can be blocks to action. If that's your choice. But U2 wrote and sang a song called "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" and it didn't stop Bono from "feeding the world". It may be best that we choose to shelve these ultimate questions of identity, decide we can only see through a glass darkly in this life, and ask ourselves more practical questions, such as: Am I Part Of The Problem or Am I Part Of The Solution?

Here's my (on-going) plan. Group together with others who also see themselves as part of the solution, and press forward.

I say this because it can be discouraging when we encounter the nay-sayers, and sometimes it's easy to focus on the problems. The problems are smaller than they appear! Sometimes, ignoring apparent difficulties and taking positive action anyway can make these problems disappear altogether.

The Y-Generation
If we think we have problems now, just wait! A new challenge is on the horizon. In about four years time the first of GenY turns thirty. If we are going to continue connecting with the 30+ age bracket we will need to be on the GenY wavelength. Actually, we cannot afford to "just wait". I am attending a meeting on 2 June addressing these issues, put on by Sport & Rec. Would anyone like to accompany me? I have the registration form which I can email you.
About the program – The topic of the workshop will be, ‘Understanding and Engaging Generation Y.’ Generation Y is defined as, ‘people born in the era between 1983 to 2000’, a relevant age group to both the Development Network and Coaching and Officiating group as this is our current junior and youth sporting participants and officials demographic.
Target Audience – The Community Sport Workshops target anyone and everyone involved in the ACT sporting community, coaches, officials, administrators, parents, teachers, students and athletes or participants themselves.. Additional members of sporting organisations are welcome to attend if they find the topic of the workshop is relevant to their role.
What’s involved – The session will be conducted by Sydney-based social researcher and author, Michael McQueen, and will be delivered in the format of a one and a half hour presentation, allowing time on completion for questions and answers. The content of the presentation will be specifically relevant to those who formulate and deliver sporting programs to today’s youth.
When/Where: Tuesday 2nd June, Gungahlin Room, Ainslie Football Club
Time: Registration 6.10pm, Presentation 6.30 – 8.30pm
Cost: No cost

At the Half Marathon
Cathy, Graham

Cathy won the W55s

 Ruth - Happy Birthday!


Michelle, Simon

 (Janene, Ruth,) Pam, Charlie, Roger

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Who Am I?

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, May 23, 2009 with 8 comments
Who indeed? Coming soon.

ACT Aardvark Athletics.
This is the name I will be promoting next. There is a bit of an identity crisis in our club (ACTVAC), we don't know who we are. So as not to discriminate, I have come up with a name designed to offend everyone equally. Of course, to ensure that we do offend everyone, we need to know what the acronym "aardvark" is to stand for. The best suggestion will get RECOGNITION and STATUS here in this blog. Comment or email me now. Here are two examples:
"An Arrant Rogue, Decadent & Valueless! A Rampaging Kleptomaniac", or more on subject,
"Aging Athletes Risking Damaged Veins And Rickety Knees"
You get the idea and I am sure you can improve on mine. All suggestions to me in the next couple of days.

Hint: "D" could stand for "Diggers", and/or "V" could stand for "Veterans", if you want to retain our current name. ACT Athletic R.... Diggers & Veterans who A... R... K..." (Always Race Keenly? I have toyed with a few options here...)

Mouse's Eyes
shall I now put lion's ears upon my ears
hear every sound as a roar
shall I now put mouse's eyes upon my eyes
gauge the moon for size against my paw
- from Queen of Love, by The Incredible String Band.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Recovering Our Senses

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, May 22, 2009 with 3 comments
Thanks Janene and Yili, your feedback is very welcome and much appreciated.

Firstly, last night's training under lights at Dickson Oval consisted of three 1km intervals with a bit of a break in between. Present were Brett M, Bronwyn, me, Heidi, Janene, Jennifer, Miranda, Nadine, Rod, Roger, Ruth & Yelena. Joel and Maria also dropped by but did not train.

Secondly, late news from the Canberra Half Marathon. Cathy Montalto won her W55 age group. Congratulations Cathy, great effort!

Thirdly, some useful information on the subject of Recovery. Recovery is more than allowing time to build in strength after a hard training effort or race. It is much, much more than that.
The following is stolen unashamedly from Peter Magill's blog. Follow the link to read in more detail what Peter has to say.

"You see, recovery isn't just a period of time between one run and the next. It's that and all this too:
    Correct effort for the workout itself, remembering that each workout is just a link in a chain, and that 100% efforts are always races.
    Post-run stretching and exercises to return muscles to normal suppleness.
    Icing of any new or chronic injuries or sore spots.
    Hydration - making sure you replace water you've lost during your workout.
    Nutrition - replenishing muscle glycogen stores in the immediate aftermath (first two hours) of a workout by eating high-carbohydrate foods, as well as making sure that you get enough calories and nutrients in the rest of your diet.
    Sleep - no one can run on 3 hours of sleep a night ... and everyone runs better when they're fully rested.
    Recovery runs - whether this is an easy 30-40 minute morning run or an easy distance run the day after a hard workout, these runs are essential for repairing muscles.
    Soft surfaces - we older runners benefit from doing our easy distance on trails and grass (as long as there's still good footing).
    Hard/Easy - this applies to days, weeks, seasons, and - when it comes to us older runners - even years; lots of masters competitors will allow themselves a down year or two in the middle of an age group, before charging back fresh as they enter the next age group.
    Proper perspective - we often forget that part of successful running recovery comes from keeping running itself in perspective, that our training and race goals should never produce anxiety; rather, they should be a healthy addition to otherwise full lives.
If we follow all of the above rules of recovery, it's very likely that we'll attain reasonable training and racing goals."

Online registration and full event information are available on for the following events.

SUNDAY 24 MAY. Homestead to Summit, 11am, Lanyon historic homestead, Tharwa Road . Turn right 500m south of the Tharwa Drive roundabout at Banks, and drive 2kms to the homestead carpark. 9km run to the Mt Rob Roy summit (walk or jog back). 18km run or bush walk to summit and return. Online registration and full event details at Helpers needed. Contact John Harding ph 62486905.

SUNDAY 7 JUNE. AUSTRALIAN JUNIOR, SENIOR and MASTERS MOUNTAIN RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS. 12 noon Dandenong Ranges National Park , Ferntree Gully, Melbourne . Run in a beautiful mountain ash forest on scenic trails. Open to all fit runners aged from 16 to 80, there is no qualifying.
12.00pm Australian junior men’s 8.2km
12.05pm Australian junior women's 4.1km and W60 and over women’s 4.1km
12.05pm Australian open women’s 8.2km and W35 to W55 veteran women’s 8.2km
1.00pm Australian open men’s 12.3km and M40 to M50 veteran men’s 12.3km
1.00pm Australian M55, M60, M65 and M70 and over veteran men's 8.2km
Online registration & full event details at
One 8-seater bus of ACT veteran competitors is already full. Contact John Harding ph 62486905 if intending to compete and also wish to go by 8 seater bus, and if prepared to share in the driving.

SUNDAY 25 JULY. BUSH CAPITAL BUSH MARATHON FESTIVAL. 2km, 5km, 10km, 16km, 25km, marathon, marathon relay and 60km ultra off road trail runs and 5km, 10km, 16km and 25km bush walks from Campbell High School next to the Australian War Memorial. A fund raising event for the Australian Mountain Running Team. Helpers needed.

See for all these events and more.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Half Marathon results

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, May 21, 2009 with No comments
The four phases of a training program:
1. Base Phase
2. Speed Phase
3. Injury Phase
4. 'Watch the race from the sidelines' Phase.
- found on a CoolRunning post.

Speedygeese in the Canberra Half Marathon
121 Moore, Geoff 1:33:36 M60
210 Pilkington, Roger 1:38:43 M50
211 McCormack, Charlie 1:38:43 W40 pb
216 Wells, Michelle 1:39:00 W35
223 Thomlinson, Nadine 1:39:15 W35
268 Baussmann, David 1:41:23 M55
308 Calver, Bronwyn 1:43:10 W35 pb
332 Zhu, Yili 1:44:16 M45
342 Larmour, Helen 1:45:01 W45
358 Bowen, Gary 1:45:51 M50
359 O'Reilly, Maria 1:45:56 W50
360 Morrison, Brett 1:46:01 M40
380 Kingston, Janene 1:47:31 W40
467 Duus, Alan 1:52:24 M60
475 Gye, Suzie 1:52:55 W30
489 Montalto, Cathy 1:54:04 W55
554 Robinson, Adam 1:57:35 M35
618 Rawlinson, Miranda 2:01:38 W55 pb
673 Baussmann, Ruth 2:06:56 W55
843 finishers

BBQ Stakes yesterday: Roger ~25:42, me ~27:02, Helen ~32:03

Miranda and Yelena on Mothers Day

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Community Transformation

Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 with 4 comments
What I am reading:
"Community: The Structure of Belonging", by Peter Block. Written in 2008 and only just released, this is a contemporary, relevant, timely book about how community transformation can take place. "Most of our communities are fragmented and at odds within themselves. Businesses, social services, education, and health care each live within their own worlds. The same is true of individual citizens, who long for connection but end up marginalised, their gifts overlooked, their potential contribution lost. What keeps this from changing is that we are trapped in an old and tired conversation about who we are. If this narrative does not shift, we will never truly create a common future and work toward it together."

Monday training. Alan, Andrew, Bronwyn, me, Jasmina, Jennifer, Kathy, Mick C, Miranda, Rohan, Ruth, Tony, Yelena & Yili met to run 12 intervals of a minute fast, a minute slow. It wasn't too cold. I handed out new speedygeese "business cards" which I will get to everybody, and I would like people to use them to invite their friends along to the group.

The Great Ocean Road 45km race: Kelley ran an outstanding 3:43:41.1 for this undulating race in wet conditions, giving her 87th place overall. Her marathon split was sub 3:30. What a brilliant run!

This video is especially for Kelley…

Shine up your medals
Last night's annual general meeting voted we stay "Veterans" (it required a 75% vote to change it) thus ensuring we remain out of step with the rest of the world, a world where Masters is the universal name.
Our new committee includes just two speedygeese: Christopher is still leading the troops, while Rachelle has been promoted up the ranks to Vice President. Miranda stood down; can someone please twist her arm to agree to be co-opted back on? Even if for half the year. Kevin also stood down and is also a huge loss, but plans to be active in other areas.

Where to from here?
I am committed to a future which is distinct from the past.
I am shifting the conversation from the problems of our community to the possibility of our community.
And, "The small group is the unit of transformation and the container for the experience of belonging" - Peter Block


photo by Mick Horan, click to enlarge

Half Marathon - one km to go

photo by Andy Rawlinson, click to enlarge

Receiving a special trophy for participating in the first and in the fortieth Rex Foulkes Half Marathon

photo by Kerrie Tanner, click to enlarge

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

"seasons change with the scenery”

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 with 3 comments
song of the week: Bangles – Hazy Shade of Winter

This is a great version of the old Simon and Garfunkel song!

recent race results:
Sydney Half Marathon: Ewen 1:45.36
Glasshouse Mountain 80k: Steve 10:29
ACT Orienteering Championships: Rohan M35A division day1 (sprint) 6th; day2 (middle distance) 3rd; day3 (long distance) 5th; overall 2nd
Our Canberra half Marathon and 5k results are still being processed.

coming events:
Tonight ACTVAC annual general meeting
Wednesday 20 May Weekly BBQ Stakes 6k handicap
Thursday 21 May ABS Fun Run
Thursday 21 May speedygeese training at Dickson as usual
Saturday 23 May Lotus Bay 1k/3k/5k cross country

Monday, 18 May 2009

race report

Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, May 18, 2009 with 4 comments
40th Canberra Half Marathon - Sunday 17th May
"Almost 900 runners started in the 40th Canberra Half Marathon on a perfect Autumn day and ideal running conditions.
"The guest starter was the first winner of the event in 1970, Julian Scott, accompanied by the founder of the Canberra Half Marathon Jack Pennington and six runners who participated in that first event, namely Dave McInnes, Dennis Smith, Graeme Small, Alan Wilson and Geoff Moore.
"The half marathon incorporates the 40th Annual Memorial Rex Foulkes Half Marathon, Rex being a great competitor and mate of those who founded and ran in the first memorial race in 1970. Rex was killed in 1969 when returning home to Cooma after competing in track athletics in Canberra, his first love being distance racing on the road.
"First across the line was North Canberra's Erwin McRae who after an early tussle with club mate and past winner Scott McTaggart pulled clear to win in the great time of 1 hour 6 mins and 04 seconds. Scott McTaggart's time was 1 hour 10 minutes and 28 seconds with 22 year old Michael Chapman third in 1 hour 11 minutes and 30 seconds.
"25 year old Queanbeyan athlete Andrea Ilakovac had her maiden half marathon victory in the very smart time of 1 hour 22 minutes and 8 seconds followed by Sally Parker 1 hour 24 minutes and 17 seconds with Hannah Flannery third just 5 seconds behind Sally Parker in 1 hour 24 minutes and 28 seconds.
"First Five Male/Females
"1. Erwin McRae 66.04 2. Scott McTaggart 70.28 3. Michael Chapman 71.30 4. Nick Walshe 74.33 5. Matt Riches 74.40.
"1. Andrea Ilakovac 82.08 2. Sally Parker 84.17 3. Hannah Flannery 84.28 4. Ana Duncan 86.59 5. Sara Burgess 87.54"
- Ken Eynon

At the finish. Click to enlarge.

Roy, Bronwyn, Janene

Bronwyn and her fan club. Bronwyn excelled with a half minute half marathon pb..

Ruth, Nadine, me, Brett, Cathy

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Better Half

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, May 17, 2009 with No comments
Who could have imagined better conditions for a half marathon than those we experienced for the Canberra Half Marathon today? Perfect conditions: hardly a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky, cool to the point of traces of frost just discernable in some of the shadows, and a big field which guaranteed a stream of runners save at the very front and far back.

How the speedygeese went
My choice of the outstanding run of the day was Charlie's, breaking 100 minutes for the first time, running around 98:50. And a whole lot of others had excellent runs as well.

Speedygeese at Lennox Gardens: Relaxing After the Half Marathon.

Yili, Charlie, Roger, Suzie, Helen, and me. (click to enlarge)

new speedygoose Suzie (click to enlarge)

Yili (click to enlarge)

As I mentioned yesterday, Sunday September 13, 1970, was the date of the first Canberra Half Marathon, and I am the only runner to have completed the first and the fortieth. I have just realised this date in 1970 was one week after Jenny and I returned from our honeymoon, a two week trip to the Blue Mountains, towing a caravan, and being snowed in for several days at Blackheath! (Not that we noticed). So it was pretty lucky that I ended up running that first half marathon!

Honeymoon - photo taken by my Better Half.

This was taken about ten days before the first Canberra Half Marathon 

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Good News Week

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, May 16, 2009 with 6 comments
One week in May … An interview for the Canberra Times ... A photo shoot for the Canberra Times ... An article in today's Canberra Times ... A live interview on ABC 666 Canberra with Tim and Bronwyn this morning, and it was good to be in the studio for the interview ... An introduction to the runners before the start of tomorrow morning's half marathon race ... it's all happening, all because I am the only runner from the Cross Country Club’s first Canberra Half Marathon 39 years ago who has entered in the 40th running of the event.

There were only 24 runners in the 1970 half marathon, and I finished 19th. I was a specialist 800m runner who in the winter of 1970 got into the habit of running the Saturday afternoon cross country races, but wasn't exactly ready for a race of such distance or duration as a 21k event. That day in September 1970 the only race on offer was the half marathon, so I ran it. I remember running along the Northern side of Lake Burley Griffin with a few kms to go thinking it was a very long, long way.

The time was 85 minutes; much slower than I ran in subsequent years after I began marathon training; much faster than I can run now. The winner, Julian Scott, snuck under 70 minutes, a good time in those days. Dave McInnes ran third, and other runners in the field included Graeme Small and Alan Wilson who are still running shorter events to this day.

1970 preceded the running boom. Fun Runs had not yet been invented, and at lunchtimes in Canberra there were no runners at all running around Lake Burley Griffin. How different it is now!

There were however a few of us who met regularly at Stromlo Forest on weekends for a long-ish run. I don't know what attracted me there; possibly the simple reason that someone invited me, so I went there and ran most weekends.

The five or six athletic clubs in Canberra at the time were predominantly for people who trained for and competed in track competition. A handful of distance runners from those clubs were the ones who met for winter competition. In those days track was the mainstream sport, while people who preferred distance, road, trail, or cross country were thought of as somewhat eccentric. Nowadays I think it is the other way round; jogging and distance running and its sister sports like trail running, mountain running, orienteering, triathlon are mainstream, and those who perform exclusively on the track are now looked on as the odd ones out.

People did not stay in athletics for very long either, and athletics was seen as a young people’s sport. Until the advent of Masters and Veterans athletics, people were not encouraged to remain in the sport; if one were not improving, or if one were no longer in contention for Olympic glory, one retired.

However during the 1970's with the introduction of Fun Runs and Masters sports, athletics became accessible to everyone and became a lifestyle option. This was a complete turn-around in attitude.

Everything changed in the 1970’s. We grew up and things will never be the same again. I wonder what is changing now? Hindsight is easy; and analysing the present is not so easy; but seeing into the future is virtually impossible. I wonder what changes are around the corner?

Another great birthday card...

... look out. The future's coming fast.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Committment, Consistency, Common Sense...., and Cockatoos

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, May 15, 2009 with No comments
The three C's of running.
When you decide you should run regularly, do you really commit to it? Or do you drift off to something else after a few days?
Far more important than speed, or effort, or what training group you join, is consistency. Have you established a routine where you frequently and regularly do the exercise you know you should do?
Common Sense.
Yes you can miss the occasional day. When circumstances warrant it, have that day off.

In autumn we are regularly visited by flocks of cockatoos.  They like the cool and overcast conditions here in Canberra. Our backyard today was subject to a visit by quite a few of these noisy but beautiful creatures. They are quite large, close up.

Last night training at Dickson were Amanda, Brett L, Brett M, Bronwyn, me, Jennifer, Joel, Maria, Nadine, Rod, Roger, Thea & Yelena. We paired up for a relay, 8x~660m with ~250m jog recovery, another long session, over 40 minutes worth. Rod's son Brett ("nearly 11") joined us for the first time.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Currant activity

Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, May 14, 2009 with 2 comments
BBQ Stakes - yesterday's times
Roger ~25:51
Katie ~25:55
me ~26:45
Ken ~27:26
Helen ~28:41
Carolyne ~38:19

At the Stakes
Roger (wearing his 800 run T-shirt), Helen, and Katie

Current Reading: I just finished the graphic edition of "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman. Am partway through Piers Anthony's "Currant Events". Yes that's how it's spelt.
Current Viewing: Have recently watched some old Micallef episodes, and some old Goodies episodes.
Recovery Workshop: Last night I attended a workshop, held at the Australian Institute of Sport, on "Recovery, how to minimise fatigue". Quite interesting, mainly about hydrotherapy.

Another birthday card.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Posted by speedygeoff on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 with 3 comments
The postman delivered my chest number for Sunday's 40th Canberra Half Marathon. It is number 40. That's not a coincidence. Race organiser Ken Eynon would have done that intentionally, as I would be the only entrant who also ran in the very first Canberra Half Marathon in 1970. Thanks Ken, I am flattered.

Of course it does mean I will have to run, however sore and tired I feel. And I AM sore, I have barely been able to run all week so far. And I AM tired. I will start with the hope of finishing in one piece.

Graeme Small and Alan Wilson who both ran the first Half Marathon may also have entered this year.

I AM the only entrant of the 1970 starters, but I am told Graeme, Alan, Julian Scott, Dave McInnes, Jack Pennington, and possibly Dennis Smith, will all be at the start to cheer the runners away.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

coffee and chips

Posted by speedygeoff on Tuesday, May 12, 2009 with 5 comments
Canberra Mothers' Day Classic results, 10 May.
10k place name gun-time chip-time
85 Bronwyn CALVER (47:41) 46:58
163 Suzie GYE (51:30) 51:19
196 Adam ROBINSON (52:55) 52:28
244 Miranda RAWLINSON (54:59) 53:56
298 Yelena PEARSON (56:26) 56:23
343 Christine O'KEEFE (58:37) 58:22
459 Christine GATES (1:03:48) 1:02:12
590 finishers
Also Heidi Johnston approx 47:00, just behind Bronwyn, didn’t have her chip

5k name place time (presumably gun time)
69 Jodie SIMS 24:07
237 Jodie DAVIS 29:33
737 finishers

Women's and Girls' Jogalong (6k handicap) results, Sunday, 3rd May 2009
88. Jennifer Bright 29:44
118. Caroline Campbell 31:52
138. Helen Larmour 27:35
155. Thea Zimpel 29:04
192 finishers

Monday night training - a mild evening, a good turn-out, for 32 minutes of 80 seconds fast/160 seconds jog back.
Participating were Alan, Andrew, Bronwyn, Christopher, Ewen, me, Helen, Kathy, Kirsten, Margaret, Maria, Mick C, Neil, Rohan, Ruth, Suzie, & Tim. It was Tim's last training night before he leaves for Melbourne. Taking his coffee cart with him. But Tim IS on Facebook!

The front of one of the lovely cards my training group gave me for my 61st birthday last week.

Song of the week: Glass of water Coldplay

Featuring the fabulous keyboard playing of Chris Martin on this live version.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Posted by speedygeoff on Monday, May 11, 2009 with No comments
Monday 11 May 5:30pm Training session at Parliament House
Wednesday 13 May 12:15pm BBQ Stakes, Roger will receive his 800 run T-Shirt, Katie's fast time from last week will be recognised, and I will take my camera to record the occasion.
Thursday 14 May 5:30pm Training Session at Antill Street Dickson
Saturday 16 May 3:30pm Half Marathon Eve 5k (3:00pm 1.5k mini-jog)
Sunday 17 May 9:00am Canberra Half Marathon. Details here.

Last Wednesday's BBQ Stakes

speedygeese Katie, Ken, Helen, Roger, and Carolyne can be seen in these photos. And friends Phil, Kerry, etc. I am hiding behind the camera.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

A week of pictures

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, May 10, 2009 with 2 comments
I haven't had time to do any writing this week, it has all been pictures. Perhaps the writing muse will re-awaken next week and thoughts will flow.

Two more Canberra Marathon photos.


Why dogs shouldn't be allowed in the kitchen

I watched one of my favourite movies again last night, The Ladykillers, starring Tom Hanks. The Coen Brothers script is, as always, sensational and every detail of the movie is perfect, every character uniquely defined, not the least the hero of the movie, Pickles the cat.

Next week on Monday Parliament House training is back after a one week hiatus, and on Thursday Dickson training continues.

Katie continues her outstanding form: ACTCCC 5k Stromlo
29. Katie Forestier W40 20:07
38. Ken White M55 21:14
49. Yili Zhu M45 22:01
56. Amanda Walker W40 23:11
63. Caroline Campbell W65 25:31
71 finishers

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Pavement rehabilitation

Posted by speedygeoff on Saturday, May 09, 2009 with No comments
We used to call it "road work". I saw the words on a sign on the Cotter road, and realised that this euphemism has snuck in under my radar... How silly.

More photos from the speedygeese dinner.

Roger and Helen

Jennifer and Rob

Maria and Neil. You can also see Roger, Katie, Ken, Rob, Carol, Jennifer, Yili.

Friday, 8 May 2009

More Majura photos

Posted by speedygeoff on Friday, May 08, 2009 with 2 comments
But first, at Dickson training last night, we ran a forty minute session - three relay teams of three runners each taking it in turns to run 440m. Members of the quickest team ran eight 440s, with a lap jog in between. We had running Amanda, Bronwyn, Margaret, Miranda, Nadine, Neil, Ruth, Yelena, Roger, and me supervising.

Majura Handicap photos. Click to enlarge.

Only nine days until the Canberra Half Marathon!

Here's a new photo of the Halls. Amelie, bottom left, turned four yesterday!